Latin name

Anarhichas lupus

Other names

Common wolffish, catfish, loup atlantique, chat marin, gesireifter kaifisch, gestreifter seewolf, steinbeiBer, austernfisch, perro de! norte, lobo, gata, graasteinbit, steinbitur.


The wolffish has no pelvic fins, and the dorsal fin, which begins just behind the head, extends to the caudal fin but does not join it. The anal fin extends to about half the length of the ventral surface. Fish have powerful jaws and numerous broad teeth, which are used to crush shells of mollusks and crustaceans. They also have sharp fangs. The Atlantic wolffish brownish-gray to purple body is crossed by up to a dozen vertical black stripes. The Atlantic wolffish has a moderately elongated body. A large head. Their jaws are armed with strong, bumpy teeth. The caudal fin is more or less truncated, not fused with the dorsal and anal fins. The lateral line appears to be single, following the side of the body. Body tissues are dense. The body is yellowish, brownish, or bluish gray. There are 9-12 darker transverse stripes along the sides, back, and dorsal fin.


Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) inhabits the western Atlantic Ocean from southern Labrador and western Greenland to Cape Cod, occasionally occurring as far south as New Jersey. Often found in Labrador, Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, and in the North, Norwegian, and Barents Seas (to Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya). Common in the western part of the Baltic Sea. In the White Sea is represented by a subspecies. Also in the North Atlantic, spotted wolffish (A. Minor) and northern wolffish (A. denticulatis) inhabit similar habitats. In the North Pacific, the very similar Bering wolffish (A. orientalis) is found from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska south to central California. Wolf-eel (Anarrichthys ocellatus) has a similar range.


Atlantic wolffish - a marine fish that lives in somewhat shallower depths than other species - 20-380 m, at water temperatures from minus 1 to plus 7 °C. It is more often found on rocky bottoms. It is sedentary and rather solitary. The populations, as a rule, are localized.


The wolffish can be up to 5 feet long and weigh 40 pounds. The wolf-eel reaches a length of 61⁄2 feet. Atlantic wolffish are up to 180 cm long and weigh up to 13.5 kg. The age limit is 20 years.

Life history and Behavior

Fish mature at 40-45 cm in length at the age of 5 years. In the southern habitats, the spawning season is during the winter months and in the northern habitats, the spawning season is during the summer months. The eggs are bottom-dwelling, large and 5.5-6.0 mm in diameter. The fecundity of females 30-100 cm long is from 600 to 40000 eggs.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scorpaeniformes
Family Anarhichadidae
Genus Anarhichas
Species A. lupus
Conservation status Data Deficient
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 18
Maximum length, cm 150
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Wolffish: Atlanitc Wolffish

Tags: Wolffish: Atlanitc Wolffish